There’s no doubt about it: It’s fun to have music on when you drive. It may be the one time of day that you really have time to sit back and listen to your favorite songs. It may help get you through those daily commutes to work, which are so boring otherwise. It may distract you from the tedium of driving.
But is it safe?
Considering the statistical risks
One big problem here was already noted above: Music is a distraction. Many drivers think of this as a positive thing. They’re bored and they want to be distracted. But that’s still a risk, because taking your mind off of the road could increase the odds of an accident.
Studies have backed this up, so we can see that it’s statistically more likely that someone will crash. How much the driver likes the music plays a role. For instance, when teenagers listened to nothing or to pre-made playlists with “safe” music — slower, softer music — they made fewer mistakes than when they listened to music that they preferred.
In one trip, drivers with their preferred music made three extra errors. This was true for 98% of drivers in the study, so it’s safe to say that it happens to nearly everyone. They fixate on the music more, they sing along with the words, they reach to turn up the radio and much more. All of this can cause accidents.
What if you get injured?
Even driving in a silent car doesn’t protect you from other distracted drivers, and most people listen to music when they drive. If you get injured, you need to know what legal options you have.